Melbourne - Nick Kyrgios on Wednesday urged reporters to "have a heart" after American teenager Amanda Anisimova was reduced to tears by being asked about the death of her father.
The American youngster's father and coach Konstantin Anisimov died suddenly ahead of last year's US Open, and the Australian Open was her first Grand Slam tournament since the tragedy.
The 18-year-old, after losing to world No 73 Zarina Diyas in the first round, was asked how she was managing her career without her father.
"Do we really have to talk about this so fast after a match?" she replied, before breaking down in her post-match press conference.
Australian Kyrgios, reportedly Anisimova's mixed doubles partner at the Australian Open, slammed the line of questioning.
"This makes me so mad. Have a heart and please feel, it's not fair. Keep your head up Amanda," he tweeted, with others on social media also condemning the journalist.
Anisimova is among a generation of teenage women starting to make their mark after she reached the French Open semi-finals in June, upsetting defending champion Simona Halep on the way.
She reached the fourth round at Melbourne Park in 2019 and went on to claim her first WTA title at Bogota, ending the year ranked 24th in the world.